“Darkness, the color of pitch, wrapped itself around the lonely structure in the town of Hope, Illinois. Only the beam of a lone streetlamp shone eerily through the foggy mist. For more than fifty years, laughter and quiet conversation gave life to The Diner. At times, it tasted the salty tears of Hope, falling for the heroes who would never return from the ravages of wars that had taken their lives as they fought for a lasting peace.”
These are the opening lines of my newest book, Nighthawks: The Diner. What makes this book different from my previous book, Wind-Free, is not only the subject matter, but the format I am developing as I write.
My critique group and I have gone back and forth on just how to present the events in this story. Should they be sequential or may I be allowed to follow what I think will add to the interest of the story–move forward and backward using flashback as one technique. This has not been an easy thing to do, and I have struggled with developing this particular format because I don’t want the reader to be confused. To aid in this endeavor, I supply dates as to what is happening and when it occurs. In order to do this, I had to make a timeline for myself to refer to, which not only includes the events and their occurrences, but the years my characters are alive. Because the story covers a span from 1945 until 2018. As a result, I have begun this story repeatedly in different places and in different times. All of this resulted in sometimes causing a mental turmoil, but I finally decided in favor of the flashback narrative. It will take careful writing and planning out the story, but I am sure I can make it work. We’ll see.